Will this recession be like the last one? Should you allow yourself to go into forbearance? How will the government help get the economy moving again after the pandemic?
They’re all important questions, discussed in a recent live webinar with Guaranteed Rate CEO Victor Ciardelli and COO Nik Athanasiou. But more important than all of the above is staying positive during these difficult days. “We are believers in the law of attraction,” Ciardelli said.
The idea is that focusing on negative news attracts more negativity into your life. That’s not what you want, Ciardelli said. “As long as you’re safe, you’re home and you’re in a good place, the most important piece is then to turn off the negative news. Stop watching things and reading things that are affecting your mood and creating anxiety,” he said, noting that anxiety can be damaging to one’s physical health. “When you have anxiety, it breaks down your immune system.”
Ciardelli takes the power of positivity so seriously that the company has created a webpage dedicated to the topic. Guaranteed Rate’s “resource for the uplifting and inspirational” offers lists of uplifting TV shows, books, podcasts and more. “It’s about envisioning and believing what you want out of your life, and then it manifests,” Ciardelli said.
The page also encourages meditation, yoga and mindfulness, while offering nutrition tips and advice on health and wellness. One feature suggests best free sites — Zoom, FaceTime and Snapchat, among others — to connect with friends and family.
Along with their message on the power of positive thinking, Ciardelli and Athanasiou also discussed the real estate market and what to expect in the immediate future. Ciardelli advised against going into forbearance unless completely necessary, particularly with government-backed loans, because of the uncertainty that forbearance can bring. There are still no guidelines from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and other government loans, such as VA loans and USDA loans, he noted. “Our suggestion is don’t go into forbearance. We do not know the obstacles for that person after the fact,” Ciardelli said.
On the topic of real estate’s rebound after the pandemic ends, Ciardelli said the strength of the market prior to the pandemic will likely mean a much quicker rebound than what we saw with the Great Recession. The standards for loans today are much higher than in 2008 and, therefore, much less likely to go into foreclosure. “The quality of the borrower is very, very good, and you have a strong, stable housing market,” he said.
Ciardelli and Athanasiou also touted Guaranteed Rate’s new process that allows clients to make a purchase “without ever having to leave their homes.” Their DigitalMortgage, TransferSafe and FlashClose platforms allow deals to be made through desktop computers, laptops and smartphones, Athanasiou said.
“We’ve been on the front end for a long time building the technology, which came in really handy during this environment right now, to limit the in-person closing appointments,” Athanasiou said, adding, “We’re giving everybody the power of choice because positivity is a choice.”